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Christ is Risen

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REV. ANDREW DEMOTSES

The ceremonies of Holy Week are the commemoration of the greatest events of human history; they direct our attention to Christ's Cross and death, and finally to his empty tomb and resurrection. The joyful and hope-filled end of Holy Week is remembered in one of the gospel readings taken from the 28th chapter of Matthew.

There, we see the myrrh bearing women approach the tomb and hear an angel who spoke not only to them, but to us as well. The first words spoken by the angel are, "You must not be afraid." With these words we are all reminded that the resurrection destroys our fear of death and replaces it with hope and with God's promise of eternal life. We no longer have reason to fear; Christ, by his own death, has broken the chains by which death and the grave held us as prisoners.

Second he said, "Come here and see the place where He was lying." We are all invited to examine the empty tomb and see for ourselves the triumph of Christ over our enemy. How do we know that Christ lives? We know because He continues to change lives, and to dwell as a living presence in the hearts of those who accept Him.

Finally, the angel said, "Go quickly now and tell the disciples." The command is to go and tell others what the resurrection means. It means that we who have experienced its joy and who trust in the promise of Christ must share that joy and trust and hope with those who have not yet experienced it. If we want to make Easter truly meaningful, therefore, we cannot merely enjoy it; we must experience it for our selves, and share it with others as well.

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